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post #46 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 06:21 AM
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Idle Air Inlet Port "O" Ring. How to check it, replace it?

Adjusting my Idle Air inlet port does not seem to make all that much difference. I have read that a deteriorated O ring in there may be the cause.
What are the specs. on this o ring?
Also, second question: I replaced the TA on my 79 SPICA Alfa Spider this past week with a rebuilt one from Wes Ingram. Following the instructions in the Ingram SPICA manual, I was able to solve all of my over rich problems.
The only two issues I need help and advice on to tweak is:
A) cold start takes two or three attempts,...then the rest of the warm up is just fine.
B) When up to temperature, at idle, there is a regular (every four seconds interval) slight drop or 'miss" . I am thinking I have the idle mixture too lean.
Or I have the long rod adjusted too long although I set it to 11 3/4" ball center to ball center as in the Ingram SPICA manual.
Are there any interactive further adjustments to the Long Rod? and is the only thing controlling Idle speed the setting of the Air bleed through the Air Idle port?
Thanks,



NOTE: Wes does a beautiful job restoring this stuff. Two Issues: To everyone out there, your old TA or any old ones you have around have great value to the rest of us since, in the proper hands, can be restored and put back into service for some needy SPICA system. Same is true of the Idle Cut out solenoid. Take great care when tightening or loosening the castleated nut. These things are like gold and should be treated very carefully. If you can not loosen the nut, then the advice is to remove the casting from the pump and send the whole unit, casting, Solenoid and all into Wes Ingrams.
I was lucky in that mine was loose.
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post #47 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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The idle air adjustment is very crude, so don't expect a lot of adjustment lattitude. IAP and Centerline sell replacement O-rings but I don't think they are even close to the pliability and shape-changing of the originals. If you're getting 600-900 rpm, then you're fine.

I can't diagnose the 4 second interval miss, other than make sure the ignition system is good. You have almost no direct control over just the idle mixture.

On the long rod, adjust the long rod to hold .019" pump gap with the engine FULLY warmed-up. At the same time the butterflies should completely closed.

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S
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post #48 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 10:17 AM
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Rich, if you have any sort of non-stock cams the idle can be very hard to adjust as well. Ever since I installed 10548 cams I've had a struggle getting my idle high enough, even after drilling out the idle air port as Wes describes in his manual. I get right about 600, but just barely. When I took it in to pass emissions I pulled all 4 idle air hoses off (when the tech wasn't looking) to get an 800 rpm idle and a fighting change at passing. I did.

-Jason

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post #49 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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I've thought about the idle air system and given the crudity of the adjustment, I'm wondering if just deleting the o-ring all togther, then substituting a valve or restrictor in the hose from the airbox to the idle air distributor would be better . . . . . something as simple as piece of round spacer with the hole drilled to the size necessary to supply the required air and inserted into the hose.

The squishable o-ring idea is not Alfa's finest engineering design. I think "Billy-Bob" must have gotten loose in the Alfa engineering offices that day.

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74 Spider
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Last edited by Roadtrip; 05-17-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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post #50 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 11:52 AM
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Guys, thanks for help

Good to hear others' thoughts on this system. I am going to warm up the engine tonight and re-check my work. Especially the .019" gap. When the engine is warm, I have no gap, which I guess is permissible.
With throttles closed shut, and the .019 gap at 0-.019, the long rod fits on perfectly so I guess I should leave that alone and concentrate on the Idle air mixture. I have read the troubleshooting in the Factory Manual and it points towards too lean of a mixture.
Everything else seems to be fine except the cold start which in my case takes three attempts.
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post #51 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 11:54 AM
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Lightbulb SPICA and idle variance interval

I have stock cams and SPICA in a 1750 motor. I experience the same idle variance about every 3-5 seconds that you describe. I do not have an answer but wanted to provide some additional data to 'help find a cure'.

My '69 GTV has the original SPICA pump (T237/1), air box and crankcase ventilation system. I checked to ensure all the Romablock clamps were all sufficiently tight, along with all the clamps on the crankcase ventilation air and oil ways.

My cams are a bit worn, in fact the cam lobe (ramp) is flat and I have a fine edge at the top of the lobe. Ignition timing was spot on and I have new plugs/wires and cap/rotor. I was using the points that came with the car (as I received the car from the seller).

I am in the process of pulling the motor and refurbishing the car so I don't have the ability to tweak-n-test but, I am going to revisit this topic when I am back up and running, if the issue still presents itself.

My thoughts:
a) The brake booster (servo) has a check valve installed on the intake manifold, creating a vacuum from the #4 cylinder. If the valve or the hose to/from the check valve to the brake servo are defective, you will experience an idle abnormality.

b) The coil, wiring harness or alternator is flawed in some way. By flawed I mean to say that a less than ideal condition exists with these components, which are causing the idle variation.

2004 Ford Ranger XLT
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post #52 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 12:03 PM
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Cool Idle anomly is result of something I did.

I am thinking the idle anomoly is the effect of something I did since it did not do this when the car was running extremely rich with the bad TA.
I am almost certain now, after thinking about it, that it is due to an over lean idle mixture. I do not know for sure, but I suspect the original cams are installed.
This engine has only 85,000 miles on it and the car really moves since the tune up this weekend. Stayed ahead of a Lamborghini and just behind a very tuned modified Fiat X-19 during a run through the backroads this weekend. Its just the cold start and the idle pulsing that has got my attention.
(PS: In all modesty the Lamborghini did not have a safe place to pass.
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post #53 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaRich
(PS: In all modesty the Lamborghini did not have a safe place to pass.
If you are not willing to crash it, you certainly won't race it....

2004 Ford Ranger XLT
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post #54 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaRich
Good to hear others' thoughts on this system. I am going to warm up the engine tonight and re-check my work. Especially the .019" gap. When the engine is warm, I have no gap, which I guess is permissible.
With throttles closed shut, and the .019 gap at 0-.019, the long rod fits on perfectly so I guess I should leave that alone and concentrate on the Idle air mixture. I have read the troubleshooting in the Factory Manual and it points towards too lean of a mixture.
Everything else seems to be fine except the cold start which in my case takes three attempts.
Yes, with the long rod DISconnected, the gap normally go to zero on a fully warm engine. That's ok.

With the engine fully warm, adjust the long rod to re-establish the .019" pump gap. The reason is, that's where the increased fuel delivery starts on the 3D cam. If it all the way back at zero, with the long rod CONNECTED, you have push the throttle through the .019" gap before increased fuel delivery starts.

As far as idle mixture is concerned, you really can't control just the idle fuel delivery, just the amount of air allowed through the idle air system, which is used primarily to adjust (albeit poorly) the idle speed. The later the model pump, the leaner the idle fuel delivery. Up until '74, they were about the same.

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S

Last edited by Roadtrip; 05-17-2006 at 12:14 PM.
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post #55 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 01:15 PM
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John: that is an important piece for me to know.
In my case, with the engine hot, and the long rod disconnected, the gap goes to 0. You are saying to lenghten the long rod to create a .019 gap.
I'll do this. but does it have anything to do with my three attempts to start from cold? I am thinking I have the TA screwed in too far. That makes (I assume) it hard to start, and , it pushes the gap to 0". Perhaps I should adjust the TA screw before I lenghten the long rod. Any advice?
I'm glad all you guys Spica' SPICA!
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post #56 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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You should recheck that without the long rod disconnected that the throttle butterflies are "just" closed as the relay crank hits the idle throttle stop. Adjust the short rod to obtain this.

With the long rod still disconnected, adjust the pump gap to .019" with the engine temp at 175F. This will take a few cycles of adjustment. Just be careful with removing and replacing the T/A. Be sure to loosen the T/A center support to prevent from bending the pipe much.

After the pump gap is set reconnect the long rod and warm the engine to running temp. As the engine heats up another 15 degrees or so, the T/A piston will continue to extend and probably drive the pump gap to zero. Readjust the long rod to hold the pump gap at .019".

Then you can adjust the running mixture.

I wouldn't worry too much about taking a few attempt to start a cold engine. You might want to check that the Cold Start Solenoid is working correctly.

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S
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post #57 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 09:13 AM
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Making Sense

Ahhh this is all making sense now. I really appreciate all this SPICA help.

Thanks.

On another note: Just bought a space saver tire for the car. Went to a Pick And Pull. Looked literally at 50 fords or so and right there in the middle of the isle was "THE" spare I needed. in great shape, no rust. WHAT A COUNTRY!
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post #58 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 09:04 AM
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empirical way of fuel contam. detection?

The wealth of info in the Spica threads has provided both a humbling and gratifying source of info. Humbling because I once hated these things, as they were standard equip on my poor-performing, problem-ridden (from new) '81 Spider. Performance became significantly better once I converted the Spider to carbureted, pre-smog specs. Of course, state vehicle inspectors were always just a half step behind (and gaining) from that point onward. This thread plus John Stewart's excellent "Pre-Purchase Inspection of a SPICA Injected Alfa" thread have shed a totally different light on my past experience, while providing advise on how to proceed with a Spica injected Spider purchase. As mentioned, 1) the reduced lubricating properties of petrol vs diesel, 2) the de-leading of petrol, and finally 3) the chronic collapsing of an '81 (specific) model unreinforced "S-shaped" fuel hose all conspired to demise my much-maligned Spica pump. This sequence of events illustrates that the Spica was as much a victim as I was. In fact, in case of a failure, a replacement Spica may perhaps be more cost effective than a carburetor conversion...and one heckuva lot more friendly at vehicle inspection stations. The question is: is there an empirical test that can qualify if gas has leaked through in the pump? I mean, at the advent of leakage before it becomes too severe, hydrocarbons smell like hydrocarbons. I almost begin to think that a separate oil reservoir for the Spica pump might prevent the engine from being affected by oil comtamination...but forget I said that. Does anyone know if an empirical test is other than cost prohibitive?

Thanks
Mike Pate
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post #59 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 12:27 PM
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The standard test to see if your pump is leaking gas, is to carefully remove the barometric capsule, dip something down into the oil in the pump, and smell or see if you can get a flame to flash to it.

I guess it's hard to say how much is too much, but probably enough to smell is getting there.

Otherwise, you've got to go to an analysis lab, and spend the $$$,
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post #60 of 124 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 07:02 AM
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Oooo Ooooo that Smell.

To steal from rock lyrics...sorry.
My engine oil smelled like gasoline because the TA failed and car was running on very very rich mixture....fouling #4 plug repeatedly. I changed oil and Filter, and SPICA filter. Put in rebuilt TA, adjusted everything according to Wes INgram's book, put in new oil and ran the car.
Lost this 7 qt load of Synthetic to bad TA and ignorance on my part.
While replacing the TA and doing a general Spica adjust procedure I completely scavenged out all of the SPICA oil through BC access as instructed above. I was looking for : A)Gasoline smell (none) B) Water, None, and C) Debris, None.
So far the oil has remained gas smell free.
I am careful to use Marvel Mystery Oil to preserve SPICA.
Just have a little tweaking to do to make it perfect.
DOES anyone know where to buy a Idle Cut off spanner for the 4 notch castellated locking ring?
Just don't forget to refill the SPICA. After observing the nasty state of the SPICA oil, and reading a few threads about how little oil actually gets cycled through the SPICA logic section, I will make annual flush of the logic section oil an annual Fall putaway maintenance. It couldn't hurt....and it is a good check on the integrity of the SPICA.

Last edited by AlfaRich; 05-30-2006 at 07:06 AM.
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